D5 Capital is delighted to announce the closure of a $1.5m Series A funding round for Playsight Interactive to commence the roll out of its ‘Smart Court’ ™ sports analytics platform in tennis clubs across the USA and UK. The investment continues our record of raising capital for companies with significant growth potential, operating in sectors that are structurally affected by technological and consequential change.
PlaySight is a pioneer in the emerging market of affordable, consumer sports analytics systems. The PlaySight Smart Court ™, which has been designed and priced for tennis clubs across the world, is based on concepts used to train fighter pilots in the air force and advanced 3D visualization technology. The system provides, in real-time and with no operators, event-based visual feedback of “what” happened in a tennis match and helps analyze “why” it happened and “how” the players can improve.
PlaySight has already secured orders for the PlaySight Smart Court ™ system in the UK and USA, where there is a huge appetite for video-based coaching tools for performance and casual players alike. The Series ‘A’ funding will be deployed in establishing the first installed units at selected clubs in New York and London.
According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, there were 75 million tennis players worldwide in 2007 and D5 Capital estimates there are now approximately 100 million globally, following rapid growth of the sport in China over the past five years. Tennis has maintained the top spot as the fastest growing traditional sport in the U.S. for the past decade (SGMA/PAC). Tennis growth is well ahead of other traditional sports such as baseball, ice hockey, gymnastics and football. Tennis participation increased by 43% in the USA between 2000 and 2008 and the sale of youth racquets increased by 88% between 2003 and 2008 (source: Sports Goods Manufacturers Association). In 2009, tennis participation in the USA broke the 30M players mark for the first time.
There are 117,000 courts (TIA National Database Court Report) in the USA that are currently used for coaching and are therefore suited to a PlaySight Smart Court installation (source: TIA/PlaySight). The total stock of tennis courts in the U.S. is estimated at 270,000.
Rupert Ashe, CEO, D5 Capital
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